Pilkington North America is a subsidiary of Japan-based NSG Group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products. Founded in 1918, NSG Group was transformed in 2006 with the acquisition of Pilkington, itself a global leader in the glass industry and the inventor of the float glass process. The company helped the Toledo area lay claim to its “Glass City” moniker with the alliance of its founding fathers Edward Drummond Libbey, Michael Joseph Owens and Edward Ford. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, these talented glassmakers formed separate and sizable companies, the Edward Ford Plate Glass Company and Libbey Owens Sheet Glass Company. Then, in 1930, the companies merged to form the Libbey-Owens-Ford Company.
Supporting a Customer’s Big New Product
In February 2018, JobsOhio was contacted with an opportunity to compete for an investment. The project required a minimum of 100 acres with heavy utilities and rail access and was being driven by strong growth in the global solar market, which is forecasted to see a double-digit increase each year over the next three years. JobsOhio performed a site search along with the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), a JobsOhio Network Partner, and local economic development officials.
The company was searching for a location to build a new float glass plant that would produce coated architectural glass for First Solar’s breakthrough solar panel product, the Series 6. This new plant would be NSG Group’s first new float glass line in the U.S. in nearly 40 years and would support the company’s long-term agreement with First Solar.
Moving Forward in Troy Township
Pilkington North America found potential in Wood County’s Troy Township near First Solar, and the company plans to invest $265 million in the project.
Troy Township’s site allowed Pilkington North America access to rail and natural gas. However, in order for the project to move forward and stay in Ohio, JobsOhio provided much needed funding support to assist with the significant site development costs, including the existence of shallow, hard bedrock material, and infrastructure costs, utility improvements, and rail access improvements.
This project will create at least 150 new jobs with an average wage of $23 per hour. Additional support will help the company with recruiting, hiring and training new workers to support the plant.